All Metals Fabrication approaching their twenty-five-year anniversary.
Back in summer 1994 the concept of starting All Metals Fabrication (AMF) was on the drawing board. Mel Marker, founder, had an idea—a vision of sorts—of starting his own place.
Of course, the odds were against him. Startups are risky. He still had a young family at home and so many people warning him, “Too risky;” “Be careful;”, “Are you sure you really want to do this?”
He pressed forward with courage to accomplish his dream of owning his own business.
The company started with a business plan, then a square concrete pad, then a building, then the original pieces of fabrication equipment.
Opposition and setbacks were upon the company almost immediately. Concrete pads had to be poured in blizzard-like conditions as unexpected snowfall arrived in mid November.
In early December, before we had opened our doors for business, a thief broke into our building where we had a work truck, welding machines and hand tools, and took all of it, including the truck. In the process, he smashed the forklift through the overhead doors, not only to steal but to vandalize our facility, causing an immense amount of damage.
I remember walking in the next morning and being numb—it was a gut punch extraordinaire.
From that point forward until we installed a security system, I would sleep at night—shotgun under my cot—out on the shop floor.
When the machines were finally set and a few key men hired, we opened the front door for business.
We would sell our fabrication services in the day and lay tile, paint walls and set bathroom fixtures by night. The whole family was involved. It was stressful and we worked our hearts out—indeed it was a family business.
Diane, my mom and Melissa, my sister were office administrators. My little brothers were delivery boys and shop help. Mel, my dad, was the everything else: sales, estimating, purchasing, operations manager, human resource specialist and, most of all, Chief Motivator as in every-thing-gonna’-be-alright!
Like any startup, we faced many hiccups and stumbled often—there is so much to learn.
One of the key take-aways, looking back over the twenty-five years is this—hard can be good!
Hard work pays.
Hard challenges make you stronger.
Hard knocks make you smarter.
Hard people make you more compassionate.
And yes, hard metal is just good for everyone! 😊
Experience is a gift that cannot be given—it must be earned. There are no shortcuts, no work-arounds and no substitutes.
AMF has fabrication, people and work experience that make a difference.
Even more, we have resolve, fortitude and the intense desire to make a difference for good—even when it is hard.
We live by our company mission, which is the never-ending pursuit toward improving individual lives—inside and outside the company—may we work to strengthen people, their respective families and their respective communities.
We look forward to another twenty-five years.